August 30, 2014

What to watch this weekend: May 17-19

What’s on your family’s movie menu this week? 

Choosing what films to offer is a lot like planning what meals to serve. The choices on television can make it easy to savor something at the same time you nourish the mind and heart. This weekend, cable stations offer a range of nutritious movies for you to consider.

This week’s movie menu has a bit of everything for you to consider.

For anyone who misses the chill of December, and the joy of the holidays, catch an out-of-season broadcast of Home Alone on Friday evening, May 17, at 6:30 p.n. on ABC Family. While this classic comedy may be set in the season of giving, the laughs it delivers and the warmth it generates are welcome at any time. What makes the film so much fun, no matter how many viewings, is the integrity of the family relationships. With its exaggerated situations, Home Alone reminds us that family really does matter at any season.

If you crave innocent comedy with a surprising edge, check out Never Too Late, showing on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) at 6 p.m. Friday. This movie adaptation of the Broadway comedy, from 1965, introduces two people well settled in middle age who surprisingly learn they are going to have a baby. How they react, and how others around them adjust to the change, create comic situations that endure the passage of time. If what may have seemed innocent in the 1960s appears predictable today, close your eyes and step back in time to a day when people didn’t talk about everything we talk about today.

The challenges of multiple personality disorder come to life in Joanne Woodward’s Oscar-winning performance in The Three Faces of Eve from 1957. While the treatment of mental conditions has changed over the years, the personal impact of unexplained behavior continues to devastate. Woodward masterfully creates a seamless collection of women who may be distinct in their words and actions while subtly suggesting the emotional core they share. Look for this seldom-seen classic on TCM at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18.

While unpredictable weather can make news in any part of the country, the violence of storms in the Southwest catch anyone’s attention. The entertaining Twister takes us to the landscape of Oklahoma to chase dramatic storms with a band of eager beaver zealots who love a good tornado. With Helen Hunt at her most engaging, and Philip Seymour Hoffman at his most entertaining, the film balances the power of the storms with the priorities of the characters. While the personal dramas are never as exciting as the high winds, they give us a moment to settle before the high winds resume. This popular hit from 1996 airs on ABC Family at 7 p.m., Sunday, May 19.

And, if you relish presidential politics, and the movies they inspire, take a visit to Mike Nichols’ Primary Colors at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, on FLIX. This “fictional” story about a Southern governor who maneuvers his way into the White House may stretch the facts we understand to be true while it paints a fabulous picture of how one man’s distorted ego may inspire a lot of bad behavior. With John Travolta in a devastating performance, the film is far sharper than it first appears. Looking at this 1998 release through today’s lens, we easily see how smart Nichols was about the ways political ambitions fuel relationships, for better or worse.

 

Serving nutritious movies can be as easy as turning on the television. And be sure, as you watch together, to share what you observe, question and consider. Watching movies together can prompt valuable family discussions.